75% of consumers worldwide said they were concerned that a voice-activated device could get hacked, according to data from Worldpay.

More shoppers are using voice-activated devices to make online purchases, but consumers are far from comfortable using the technology.

Just because shoppers are using those devices that feature digital assistants doesn’t necessarily mean they trust them. 75% of consumers in a study conducted by payment processing vendor Worldpay in conjunction with market research consultancy Opinium, say they’re concerned that such a device could get hacked, and 51% say they’re uncomfortable sharing their personal information with a voice-connected personal assistant or a chatbot. A chatbot is an interactive software tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to simulate human conversation.

The Worldpay and Opinium survey was conducted during the summer and involved 20,000 consumers in 10 markets, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, China and Brazil.


Worldpay and Opinium find that 41% of those consumers had used a voice-connected device, such as Google Home or Amazon Echo.

A separate study in March by marketing and communications firm Walker Sands found that 19% of consumers in the U.S. had bought something via a voice-activated device, while another 33% were planning on doing so at some point within the next year. Walker Sands surveyed 1,622 U.S. consumers for its study.

As voice-activated and other web-connected devices become more popular, retailers and other companies will have to tread carefully to reassure consumers. 55% of those surveyed by Worldpay and Opinium say they don’t want voice-activated or other internet of things devices collecting data on them, while 72% say they’re concerned that manufacturers of those devices would share that data with others.


“Technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, customer service chatbots and connected devices are completely dependent on gathering information about users to inform their decisions and tailor their services,” Worldpay writes. “Clearly, a balance needs to be struck between privacy and the convenience that these technologies provide.”

“Retailers have some work to do to show customers the real value they could get out of automation, to convince them to share their data,” Worldpay says.

Worldpay’s survey also finds:

  • 50% of all shoppers want to limit the amount of money that a connected device such as an Amazon Echo or a Google Home can spend when auto reordering products, rather than simply having the devices continually ordering products based on a shopper’s past behaviors.
  • 46% say they are fine with a connected device a device automatically placing orders on their behalf, while 35% say they are uncomfortable with that idea.